7/31/2006

07-31-06 - 1

It was another one of those good days that make me remember why I like being a poker pro. I played for about two hours in the morning and made $1000. Quitting time! So, I went for a long bike ride. It was nice and sunny out, but not too hot, so I felt strong and fast. It's just about the ugliest time of year here now, the summer wildflowers are dying off, all that's left are fields of giant yarrow plants. The vineyards are now covered with ripe fruits and the teams of Mexican workers have appeared in the vineyards like a seasonal migrating bird.

On the way home I was tired and completely zoning out, where your brain moves from topic to topic in a hazy stream of consciousness without really thinking about anything. Suddenly I realized that I was going like 2 miles an hour. While I was zoned out my body had just quit working hard without me even realizing it. It's funny how that happens, we have a powerful built in laziness reflex, designed by Evolution to save energy in case we need it to flee from a Saber Tooth Tiger, or to jump on tasty prey. Just like the way the Cheetah will give up chase even though it could catch its prey because it never wants to exhaust itself, so the recreational cyclist will find himself puttering along without constant vigiliance to force himself to work.

I only have a few days left in San Luis and I'm trying to think of the things I'll miss here that I really want to do before I leave. All I can think of are outdoor things - cycling, going to the beach, hiking. So, I'm trying to do those.

7/30/2006

07-30-06 [poker] - 1

I just realized one of the things about poker that makes it so hard is that everyone around you is saying ridiculously wrong things all the time. All the TV shows are just full of horrible horrible advice, even the online boards & many of the books are just full of horrible advice. Things like "don't go broke in a limped pot" or "don't get all in preflop with AK", or people saying "how did you go broke with such a weak hand?" when you make a bluff with 83o or something. It's really hard to keep all that junk out of your head, because the problem is it's *close* to being right, which makes it dangerous. It gets in your head and starts corrupting your thinking. It's sort of like if you had to go to a biology class taught by Darwin and right after went to a biology class taught by Lamarck.

7/29/2006

07-29-06 - 2

Why am I not playing in the World Series of Poker this year? A lot of people are asking, so I thought I'd answer. Originally when I went pro I was planning on playing, but over time I changed my mind, because I decided it was pretty -EV. Here's why :

1. The structures really suck. You start with a number of chips equal to the dollar buy-in, and the blinds start at 25/50. This means $10,000 main event is good, but all the cheaper tournaments that are more in my price range are just short-stack crap-shoots. Also the blinds go up fast, and because it's live you only maybe get 10-20 hands per blind level, which is awful.

2. The vig is really high. Harrah's take 4-6% and you're expected to tip the dealers on top of that. Add to that travel expences, etc. and the cost of playing is way too high to possibly be +EV.

3. You probably won't get on TV unless you win a bracelet at a smaller event; the smaller events aren't televised anymore except for special moments involving pros or final tables. TV time has added value but the chance of getting it is very slim.

4. I kind of suck at live poker. I hardly ever play live so I don't have much experience with body language, controlling my own tells, table talk, all that stuff. I also get really bored because the action is so slow and it makes me zone out and lose focus. I can't maintain a state of high focus for 12 hours.

So, basically I decided the only event really worth playing was the main event, and I didn't want to put up $10k for that where my edge is not that great.

Only really great thing about the Main Event is there's tons of added value to winning, because of the publicity, endorsements, etc. you get. If there are 6000 players, the prize pool is $60M but there's almost $10M of added value to winning, so you get some bonus equity right off the bat for that. For someone like me who could turn a win into an announcer/author career, the extra equity could be even higher. Still, if I played every year for 50 years the chance of winning even once in that time is 1/50 or so.

07-29-06 - 1

Charles's guide to the spectrum of modern journalism :

On the liberal end, you have things like The Nation & Mother Jones. These are slightly wacky-liberal. I think they believe there are crazy right wing conspiracies that don't really exist. Personally I don't think there is a "vast right wing conspiracy". Rather, the ring wingers just act on their own or in little groups to accomplish similar goals. It's more of a network of cells, with a few leaders; if you take out one leader, another will take his place; the cells can operate independently, but they all work for a common goal which they believe fanatically. The RNC is the "base" if you will.

The New York Times is the next step, sort of slightly right of center. If anything they're like "Clinton Democrats". They're pro-war, they generally support and don't question America's government, they're very pro free market, pro Wall Street, pro big business. If they're liberal on anything it's tiny issues like abortion, women's rights, gay rights, things like that. They pay lip service to the environment, but don't really advocate doing anything significant to help the Earth or bring it up very often, they don't favor anything that costs American business anything.

The Wall Street Journal is sort of like the ruling elite's rag for themselves, like a Pravda, a party-financed propaganda rag. Aside from trying to drill in the propaganda to push various initiatives, it contains news for the elite, such as where to get your Rolls Royce jewel encrusted, or how to save money by firing your employees and outsourcing, food recipes for condor eggs, things like that.

What's that? I forgot Fox News, you say? Oh my, really? I thought that was just a comedy channel, you know, like the Daily Show or something. You mean people take that seriously like it's real news? Oh my lord.

7/27/2006

07-27-06 - 4

I should start an online pay service with zero commission. You easily make enough money from interest on the "float", and can make some more money from fees for improper usage. I could put paypal/neteller/etc. out of business.

07-27-06 - 3

Taxes for poker are so brutal. I pay federal income tax, state tax, and self-employment tax. Together they add up to almost 50% (!!). When you add that to the rake that the casinos take, and the amount that I blow off with tilt, it makes it so difficult to scrape a good profit out of the system.

But, I thought of a good way around the self employment tax - get a job! As long as I make more money from something else than I do from poker, the poker can be a hobby and the other thing can be my "real job". So, I could do something like make $40k from poker and $45k from some other job. Perhaps I could do something like software contracting a few months out of the year and make enough that it's more than I make from poker the rest of the year.

07-27-06 - 2

I'm trying to throw out lots of my old school papers. I'm definitely getting rid of all my college papers; it's funny looking back at them, I was so full of myself, I thought I had all these brilliant original ideas, I was figuring out new ways to derive the relativistic quantum field theory, proofs that spin had to be quantized, etc. looking back now I realize half of them are just wrong and the other half are standard/known. I was constantly inventing new notations and formalisms, basically because I couldn't really understand or wasn't comfortable with the standard ones.

I'm having trouble throwing out my notebooks from grad school though. I'm not yet far enough removed to be able to laugh at them, and they make me feel very wistful and sad to look back through them. Maybe someday I'll still go back and there will be some brilliant threads of ideas in these notebooks that I'll work off of? No, of course not, I'm never going to do anything useful with them, in fact after I move they'll just go back to sitting in a box. So why can't I just get rid of them?

I also have way too many books, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them either. Fiction books I actually mostly have no problem dumping except for a small handful that were special to me (mainly Kafka, Nabokov, Anna Karenina for auxilliary reasons). It's the nonfiction books I can't get rid of. I have a ton of science books, data compression books, and tons of computer graphics books. Maybe I'll need to look something up in them!! In reality I would just get rid of them except that you actually do still need them, which is F'ed up in this day in age. It's gay that you can't get book contents online, and it's gay that libraries in America just really suck.

Maybe I'll start a "ShareSpace" in San Francisco.

ShareSpace is a storage site for communally owned useful items.

ShareSpace is not for storing your personal junk that noone else wants to use.

ShareSpace is free.

ShareSpace items are not for you to take and keep. ShareSpace is for sharing.

ShareSpace is for people in a network of trust, either trusted by you or trusted by someone you trust.

07-27-06 - 1

One of the problem's with Israel's actions (and to some extent the war in Iraq) is the long term economic impact. Massive destruction of infrastructure and destabilization of basic economic activity can send those already poor areas into severe poverty. That breeds hopelessness and desperation, which turns people to religion and extremisim, and hate for those who helped create those conditions. It's well established that one of the best ways to fight terrorism & fundamentalism is education, freedom, and prosperity.

7/25/2006

07-25-06 - 1

There is no such thing as "not gambling". There are only different levels of risk. The wise person does not choose "not to gamble", rather they look at the risk/reward of various options and choose appropriately. Choosing the lowest risk option usually means sacrificing a lot of EV, which may or may not be wise.

7/22/2006

07-22-06 [poker] - 1

Consider a simple "pushbot" situation. I'll just assume a cash game or early in an MTT so payout structures don't matter, just chip EV.

Folded to you on the button. Only the blinds remain. You have C chips (in units of big blinds) and the blinds cover you (effective stacks all C). If you can only push or fold, should you push?

The correct way to do this is to guess some push range for you. Then assume the blinds know your push range and compute the correct call range for them. Then iteratively trying changing your push range, so that you find your push range that maximizes your EV over the whole range. (in each case assume the blinds know your range and make the perfect decision).

To see if you should push a hole H, you see if H is in the optimal range for you.

Okay, so as far as I know that's just review. In order to compute this you have to iterate many times over all holes for each person because you try a range for yourself, then try all calling ranges for both blinds to compute their optimal actions, then tweak your range & repeat until it stabilizes.

Here's an idea I had for a simple approximation :

It's folded to you on the button and you look down and see hand H. Assume your push range is all hands >= H. Now compute what the blinds should do given that range for you. Now consider pushing the actual hand H against the blinds' calling ranges. If it's +EV, then push, if not, don't.

Now, obviously this is an approximation and it doesn't get the actual EV right at all, but does it get the range right? I think it's very close and it's hard for me to see how/where it could fail.

Say for example in a given situation the correct push range is hands >= AQo. Folds to you and you have AQo, you'll make the right decision of course. What if you have AJo ? This should show up as -EV to push because if it was +EV it would've been added to the correct range, so we should get this right. What if you have QQ? We'll assume your range is only QQ+ so the blinds will fold much more, but it still should show up as a +EV push and tell you the right answer.

Anyone have an idea how this approximate procedure could yield a different result than the correct procedure?

BTW this is different than the Sklansky-Chubukov numbers because I'm assuming the blinds know your exact push range and make the perfect decision, but they don't know your actual hole cards.

07-22-06 - 1

Our apartment in SF is right near where the Mexican day laborers stand for jobs. I was thinking of just renting a U-Haul or something and grabbing some of them to unload it. (ala Stephen Colbert:) Great idea, or greatest idea?

Oh yeah, we got approved on the Mission apartment; woo hoo, sort of. It's small for two people, we're going to have to get along well! I'm not sure if my bed (Queen) is going to even fit in the bedroom.

7/21/2006

07-21-06 - 2

I guess we're gonna have a garage sale Sunday morning. The small stuff is free to anyone I know, so come on by.

07-21-06 - 1

I found this really simple beautiful Ode to the SF Bike Messenger .

Bicycle Film Festival in SF in September. Woot.

7/20/2006

07-20-06 - 3

07-20-06

OMFG I think I might be delirious and spending too much time in online message boards, but this might be the funniest thing I've ever read :

Your post sucks because:

[ ] It is in the wrong forum
[ ] It's a donkament beat - lol
[ ] No one cares you can only SIIHP w/ your sister
[X] You forgot to turn your sarcasm meter on
[ ] You folded KK pf
[ ] You just fell off the turnip truck
[ ] Should have used roflcopter not lollerskates 

07-20-06 - 2

07-20-06

The kids tell me Marvin Spectrum is fun. Meh, I'd rather play poker. It does make me miss Fusion Frenzy games though.

07-20-06 - 1

07-20-06

While in SF I thought of two pieces of software I'd like to have.

One is an apartment layout tool (you could use it for houses & offices and anything else too). First, you roughly draft the floor plan of the place; it tells you square feet, so you can rough sketch it with a few measurements and tweak to get it close. Then you draw some simple shapes for your furniture. Then you can drag them around and rotate them to try different layouts. Obviously you could just use something like Maya (any modeler) to do this, but those are very difficult for the average person (like me). I want to just be able to draw the outline of the space then drag some walls, etc.

Addendum : Scott pointed me at this which is not bad. I wish I could free draw my layout, and just draw the furniture, not select from Ikea pieces, but meh, it's not bad.

The other is a traffic layout and simulation tool. Going over the Bay Bridge the traffic is awful, but oddly the traffic on the bridge itself is not bad at all, it's just leading up to the bridge that it's bad, because of some badly designed merges. Perhaps some small changes could be made which would cost very little but improve the flow of those merges? The idea is to have a tool that's sort of like a fluid-pipe flow analysis tool. You have these incoming pipes (roads) and outgoing pipes. At each edge, you can set the flux : the rate of cars going through (# per minute) & the average speed. You lay out the road in between with some simple splining tool, then the system simulates the car flow, using perhaps a particle system, or something that reasonably well approximates actual traffic interaction. You can then visually see the flow, see where it's clogging and slowing down. Then you can try little things, like adding an extra lane for a merge area, things like that.

7/19/2006

07-19-06 [poker] - 1

07-19-06 [poker]

There are a lot of advantages to playing a low variance style. In theory, EV and variance are two separate aspects of a style - you might play a very +EV style that's very high variance. In practice, it's very hard to maximize EV with a high variance style.

There are two big problems with playing high variance :

1. It makes it harder to self-adjust. Poker is all about constantly adjusting, finding your leaks and fixing them. With a high variance style it's much much harder to really know when you're making mistakes or not because you will be going up & down all the time. This makes it harder to fix your game or make the right adjustments, which can lead you into bad play patterns.

2. It's much harder psychologically to stay in top form at all times. Because you'll be winning big and losing big all the time, when you lose big it will be hard to stay mentally fresh (avoid tilt). Even if you have the self control to just stop playing after some brutal beats, that means you're not playing when you could be, which is -EV.

The result is that even if embracing a bit more variance could be more +EV, often in practice you're better off giving up some value to keep your variance lower and have better control of your game.

note : this is a totally different issue than Risk/Reward in investing. That principle applies to poker as well, but is a totally different thing. In that case you're trying to balance risk just because you want to avoid ruin ("busto"), and because you might need to get that money for other things.

07-19-06 - 1

07-19-06

I think the stock market is ridiculously over-reacting to the Israel/Lebanon thing. This is not WW3. Things will go back to relative normal conditions. OTOH I have been predicting for a long time that the US economy was headed for the crapper, and this is sort of the right correction if for the wrong reason. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to play the prediction that the economy was F'ed. Someone wiser could have told me to play that prediction by buying Gold, which would've worked very well. At the moment, I think Gold may now be too high because of over-reaction to Israel/Lebanon, and you could even short it if you're bold. In the unlikely event that the shit really does hit the fan, I wonder if I should try to sell out of all my positions. Surely there would be a rush to sell and the markets would be F'ed.

I'm finding myself more and more just anti-Israel. It's hard for me to feel sympathy for them and understand why they act that way. I used to see it more like Northern Ireland, where it's a hard problem and you can't really make everyone happy. Now I just feel more like Israel are the invaders who are smashing the poor locals with their iron fist; for every small attack they respond a hundred fold, even when their soldiers are attacked they don't respond by attacking military targets, they simply destroy civilian homes and infrastructure. They believe they have the right to visciously retaliate to any offense, but their opponents are "murderers" or "terrorists" if they retaliate in the slightest. I have the same problem with many American Jews' position on Israel. The New York Times spoke out against Israel's current offensive - not because of the killing and damage to innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon, that wasn't mentioned at all - their objection was solely that the offensive would create more terrorists in the long term which would wind up reducing Israel's security. This moral relativism - the idea that any killing by you is justified, but any killing by them is an atrocity - destroys any righteousness. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the opposition's side is any better, they intentionally put their fighters in civilian neighborhoods, and no one is more blind to ambiguity than a Jihadi, etc. etc. I'm just saying it's hard for me to sympathize with either side these days.

7/18/2006

07-18-06 - 3

07-18-06

Owning property and renting it out is like an amazing cash cow. For one thing, the property is just a good investment that appreciates similar to stock. Then you get the rental income on top of that which is just like a bonus that good growth stocks don't have. It's like combining a good growth stock with a stock that pays a big dividend, which is unheard of. The problem in CA is that rental income is very low compared to mortgage, but in places were mortage:rent is around 1:1, buying property to rent is very easy and very profitable. All you need is a little nest egg to cover the down payment, and then it pays for itself and you get to keep the appreciation. Of course if the area totally crashes you get a double whammy - you might not be able to find a renter (or the rental price will plummet), and the value of property itself plummets.

07-18-06 - 2

07-18-06

We wound up putting down applications on two apartments. Oddly enough they both wound up being ones that weren't even listed on Craigslist. We found them by going to see other listed ones, then the property manager mentioned he had these other ones that weren't on the market yet and we went for them. All the ones we found on craigslist were either real shitty or already had like 100 applications in if they were nice & in good neighborhoods.

One is at 21st at Guerrerro in the Mission District, close to the Park and Valencia St, but in a nice/safe part of that area. It's a pretty swank location, but the apartment itself is a bit shitty and small.

The other is at at Taylor St at Green St in North Beach (sort of up Russian Hill - I guess it's called "Amber Hill"). It's a slightly bigger apartment and it's in an old building with cool character. The location is convenient to cool Chinatown asian markets and North Beach seems kinda cool, but it's a much more touristy area and not as many real good restaurants/cafes/etc.

So, I think the 21st St. is our first choice and the Amber Hill is a fallback.

07-18-06 - 1

07-18-06

We just got back to San Luis Obispo late last night. It was a long drive down from SF, and rolling into San Luis, the town felt strange and foreign, like returning to the town where you want to high school, many years later. It was about 11 PM when we got here and the town was dead silent, the streets were deserted, and it felt almost eerie. The streets also just felt so wide and empty, like I could drive half asleep, not watching for pedestrians jumping off the curb, taxis swerving into my lane, or pot holes popping up in the road. But, the most striking thing was the smell. We rolled down the windows as far as they could go and just breathed in - the air was slightly damp, but clean and sweet, heavy with the perfume of thousands of flowers, the scent of the orange blossoms, the hibiscus, the jacarandas, in all the well-loved yards in this gardener's paradise.

7/17/2006

07-17-06 - 1

07-17-06

So we're up in the bay looking for places and it's a total nightmare. When the good places have an open house, like 20 people will show up. One thing I hadn't anticipated was trying to impress the landlord with an application. Everywhere I've rented a place before, if you can pay first+last month they're happy to take you. Here you have to compete with others and look professional and responsible and all that, which I don't really at the moment, what with my independent status.

The landlords here also are ridiculously uninformed about their own properties. Nobody know square feet, and nobody has a floor plan. WTF!? You have to have those things for taxes / surveying, etc. how can you own a place and not have that information !? We asked one lady and she cocked her head and said totally dead pan "I don't have a tape measure".

We wound up doing "Rental Resumes" on recommendation from Jen; we did this one . That was cool for the people who were just individuals renting places, but most of the places are run by a property management company, and they won't take them, nor are they impressed, they just want you to fill out their own form. I also printed out our own free copies of our credit reports. That didn't help at all, nobody even wanted to look at them. They all just pay $20 to some service to check your credit. WTF do they think I'm going to forge this 10 page credit history thing !?

One thing that really disturbs me is the amount of information you have to give out. I usually don't worry too much about identify theft, since it's usually pretty isolated - eg. someone might use your credit card, okay you can stop those charges and cancel the card. These forms, however, contain all your ID numbers, your address history, info on all your credit cards - once thye get your credit report they have everything about you. It's enough information to do almost anything - get new credit cards in your name for example, apply for unemployment, get into your bank accounts, etc. I'm a little worried and if I don't get lazy I think I'm going to change all my account numbers on my credit cards & banks.

7/13/2006

07-13-06 - 4

07-13-06

Fucking "housingmaps.com" piece of crap seems to be a few days out of date with craigslist. That makes it almost useless in SF because turnover is so fast. Thanks a lot, you useless pieces of non-good-programming turds. Why can't you just pull the craigslist data on the fly !? Furthermore, why do the craigslist apartment listings have to suck so bad? They don't have standardized fields for square footage, parking, appliances, when available, etc. etc. so I can't filter my searches based on anything useful. I also can't define a set of neighborhoods to search and save that query. WTF, it's the 21st century and we're still using these punch-card-ass systems !?! ARG

I think an electric stove might be a no-go for me.

07-13-06 - 3

07-13-06

A lot of people have asked me about the House bill to ban online gambling. At this point almost everyone agrees the chance of it becoming law is < 1%. It's basically another stupid election year grand-standing move, just like the nonsense about flag burning, violence in video games, gay marriage, etc. etc. - they make a stink about issues that they won't do anything about just to stir up the crazies and get them to the polls. So, what will the real effects of this be? I'm not sure. It might scare some people away in the short term thinking they don't want to put money in the sites. In the longer term, it may actually attract more people, because it's a ton of publicity. There are articles about it in all the newspapers, it's really getting the word out.

07-13-06 - 2

07-13-06

I thought "Match Point" was rather well constructed, but the two leads (Rhys-something and Scarlett Jojo) are both really awful actors, absolutely stiff and forced (unlike the British actors in smaller parts who are excellent), and it sort of ruins the movie.

I realized that I really like Woody Allen as an actor even more than I like him as a director. He's the past master of the neurotic hypochondriac self-obsessed liberal Jewish shtick.

07-13-06 - 1

07-13-06

re moving : Scholz also wisely points out that I could just move to the suburbs of Austin and buy a house. That would be sweet, but then I'd have to live way out in the suburbs of Austin which isn't ideal.

7/12/2006

07-12-06 - 3

07-12-06

I'm trying to give away my old station wagon, but none of the charities want it ;( It's a 1985 Chevy, but it's in pretty good shape. Snooty bastards, my wagon's not good enough for you! I was thinking I might put a "Free Car" sign out on the street.

I checked my credit report so I could bring it to rental applications. I found there's a "bad credit" dealie on there that just showed up last month for a bill I supposedly didn't pay back in 2001 in Austin. First of all, I wasn't in Austin in 2001 (I don't think), I was in Seattle, so it must be from even before then. Second of all, WTF, a late bill from 2001 gets posted on my credit report in June of 2006 !? There must be some statute of limitations for debt collection, no !?

07-12-06 - 2

07-12-06

If anybody knows the poop about bay area neighborhoods, drop me a line please. Here's what I've figured out so far :

Nice places in the city to live (for me that means not too expensive, not too gentrified, cool people & some street life, but not crazy dense noisy city) seem to be in an almost continuous strip from like Richmond, down through Haight and Hayes/Castro to the west side of the Mission and Noe Valley. I guess another nice patch is around Russian Hill - Telegraph Hill but I think that might be out of my price range except in the shittier parts in the middle.

In the East Bay, the trick is to find the nicer areas that aren't totally yuppied out. I'd like to live near one of the little hipster shopping strips so I can walk to cafes/groceries/etc. So, Berkely seems okay, but I don't know much about living there. There are decent parts of Oakland around Lake Merrit towards Piedmont, but I don't really know that area at all.

Scholz had an interesting idea of living up in the Redwoods on the peninsula, in Felton or something like that. Plus : it's lovely up there and cheaper than the cities, Minus : long drive to work/city and little things like shopping are a pain, also the people who live up there are mostly yuppies or white trash.

07-12-06 - 1

07-12-06

I've discovered the secrets to The One True Omelette. First of all, you need a non-stick 10" pan. A standard 9" pan is not as good, but you can use it if you want to eat filth like you usually do. Second, use only TWO eggs, not three or four or whatever, certainly not extra whites or anything vile like egg beaters. Whisk the eggs well in a bowl, and do NOT, DO NOT add water or milk or anything; do add salt & pepper at this point. Get the pan medium hot, butter it (not too hot that the butter insta-browns), and add the eggs. Now the third secret : do NOT touch the eggs. Do not stir, don't do that thing where you lift the edges and let some raw egg go underneath the cooked part. Just sit and let it cook and never touch it. Pretend you're cooking a crepe. It should get semi-solid quickly. Before it's all the way solid, add the cheese and other fillings. Do NOT stuff it full of all kinds of crap. I recommend only ham and cheese. It's crucial to use a good ham and cheese; one choice is the Niman Ranch smoked ham with a true aged English Cheddar, another good choice is a Manchego cheese with a Serrano ham. The ham should've been browned & warmed in another pan, perhaps with a tiny bit of oil if the ham's not fatty enough to give off it's own lube. Fold the omelette and top with some chopped parsely.

7/11/2006

07-11-06 - 1

07-11-06

I was thinking today that anyone buying a house in CA right now is foolish. The only reason they can get away with these insane prices is because people are willing to pay it. The reason people will pay it is they see it partly as an investment that will appreciate. It's a standard pyramid scheme / bull market type of thing. Then of course I realized I've been thinking that for the past few years and I've been wrong so far.

The funny thing I realized is that in bubble markets, like the current housing market (especially in CA), and the internet stock boom, is almost nobody is actually smart & rational about it. You have the "irrationally exhuberant" people who think it's just going to keep going up. They might recognize it's a bubble, but they think it won't pop badly, maybe it will just plateau. They rationalize all sorts of ridiculous reasons why the valuations should really be so high. On the other hand you have the people who see that it is indeed a bubble, but irrationally think that that's a good reason to stay out of the market. Not so, bubbles are a great time to ride the market and take a huge profit. Very few people actually identify the bubble and try to ride it smartly.

7/10/2006

07-10-06 - 3

07-10-06

How depressing. If I move to SF I'll be paying more than I am now ($1300) for some shitty little studio apartment. Then I have my cats to worry about, they're outside cats will go absolutely ape shit if I have them locked in an apartment all the time. Sigh. To cap it all off, I'm reminded what a moron I've been for not buying a house which just makes me sick, and stocks are not doing well so my nest egg is dwindling and I'm going to have to tap it to pay for moving expenses, etc. Shit.

Looks like stuff in my price range is around 500 square feet. My computer desk is almost 500 square feet!

I've gotta get rid of a bunch of stuff that won't fit in a tiny apartment. If anybody wants a surf board, a rowing machine, a punching bag, or two cats, let me know.

07-10-06 - 2

07-10-06

To cheer up, watch William Shatner doing Rocket Man

07-10-06 - 1

07-10-06

My landlord is kicking me out. I'm renting a house, and my one year lease expired a while ago, so I've just been paying monthly rent without a lease since then. My landlord just gave me a 30 day notice to move out. Seems to me I'm just F'ed, I have no choice but to leave, right? Pretty uncool thing of him to do, I've always paid rent on time, never been a problem. He wants to sell the house, so it's not like I can talk him into a new lease. The house will probably go for around $800k, up from about $500k when I moved in four years go :(

So, I guess I'll move to the bay area. The really shitty thing is I have to find a place and move in 30 days which is going to be tough. My landlord is a fucking bastard for not letting me know sooner, he must've been thinking about this for a while. Unfortunately there's not really anything I can do, it's his house, he gave me 30 days which is all the law requires.

7/05/2006

07-05-06 - 1

07-05-06

There should a "Pronouncicon" web site with audio of people saying lots of words. Dan tells me Allen Ginsberg is pronounced like the drink Gin, not a hard "G" as in "give".

This type of nonsense is why some people hate artists.

7/04/2006

07-04-06 - 1

07-04-06

Something seems seriously out of whack when it's profitable to melt down gold jewelry to make gold bars. The price of gold is not being driven by the market demand for gold, but rather the demand of investors who are A) trying to ride the hysteria/bubble or B) buying up gold bars to stash under their bed because they're kooks that don't believe in cash.

7/01/2006

07-01-06 - 2

07-01-06

The MS desfragmenter is no longer defragging my disk. I run it and the before & after graphs look identical, both full of frags. I have a 60 GB disk and 10 GB free, so there should be plenty of free space for it to work in. Is there some better defragger that actually works?

The "contig" program from SysInternals seems to work, but it only works on one file. I guess I could just recurse all files and run that.

07-01-06 - 1

07-01-06

The taskbar on the side is cool, but it's too wide, it should be adjustable. At 88 pixels it takes too much real estate :

1832 x 1200 < 1920 x 1172

by about 51k pixels

Addendum : turns out it's just cuz I was using the "Desktop menu" thing, which seems to muck up the tastkbar functionality. Take that out and it resizes fine.

old rants